Today, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross released the following statement after the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) announcement of a pilot program implementing new requirements for foreign investment set forth in the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA):
The Department of Commerce is proud to work with the Department of the Treasury on a strong initial program to address threats to our national security from strategically motivated foreign investment. This pilot program is the first step in the Administration’s implementation of FIRRMA and I look forward to continued collaboration with Treasury as we strengthen and modernize CFIUS.
The United States welcomes foreign investment in the technology industry and continues to be one of the most open countries in the world to foreign investors. Still, we will not stand idly by as technology critical to national security is acquired or stolen by state actors seeking to gain a global strategic advantage.
The pilot program announced today will make America safer and more secure in the 21st century. It expands the scope of transactions subject to review by CFIUS to include certain non-controlling investments made by foreign persons in certain U.S. businesses involved in critical technologies.
Importantly, FIRRMA recognizes the need to protect critical technologies, including emerging and foundational technologies that are controlled pursuant to the Export Control Reform Act (ECRA) of 2018. In tandem with the pilot program, the Department of Commerce is establishing a parallel rulemaking effort to identify, review, and potentially control emerging and foundational technologies.
A wide range of emerging and foundational technologies are essential to U.S. national security but are not yet subject to US export controls. The Department will work with other U.S. Government agencies to develop the first set of proposed emerging and foundational technology controls following public comment on a proposed rule.